Gamasutra - Designing RPG Mini-Games
Gamasutra is hosting a new article that talks about how to design RPG Mini-Games.
At their best, mini-games offer players a meaningful way to test their skills in an alternative game setting. At worst, they're either incomplete or make little sense within the game's context. Before peppering your next RPG with mini-games, it is imperative that you consider their purpose, immersion factor and development time. Oh, and don't forget: they should also be fun.
What Is a Mini-Game?
What better way to start off a piece on mini-games than by defining exactly what a mini-game is? Unfortunately, that's not as simple as it might initially sound. Mini-games vary widely in scope, in relevance, and in how much they deviate from a game's core mechanics.
Compounding matters further, the line between a mini-game and an essential feature can sometimes be blurred. For instance, if I asked two World of Warcraft players, one who only raids and one who PvPs (that is, takes part in player vs player combat) exclusively, whether the PvP arena is a mini-game or an integral feature, I'd probably receive two completely different answers.